Meeting in Sulaimani in 2014 are (left to right) Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, Jalal Talabani, Masoud Barzani, Nechirvan Barzani, and Dilshad Barzani. Photo: KRG
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani sent out a message of condolence Tuesday evening on the death of Jalal Talabani, Iraq’s former president and secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in which he describes Talabani as a leader who played an unforgettable role in the Kurdish struggle, bringing democracy to Iraq, and a man of a global stature.
The following is the text of Prime Minister Barzani’s message:
Today the peoples of Iraq and Kurdistan lost a great freedom fighter, Mam Jalal. On this sad occasion I send out my and my government’s condolences to the people of Kurdistan, Iraq, Mrs. Hero Talabani, Qubad Talabani, Bafel Talabani, their entire family, and members of the PUK leadership.
Mr. Talabani played a major role in the Kurdish revolution. He joined the Kurdish intellectual and political movement from a very young age. As a leader he also had a part in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and he was the founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan who, hand in hand with the KDP, drove the Kurdish revolution forward, formed the Kurdistani Front, staged the uprising and protected the legitimate state institutions.
Mr. Talabani’s role in combating dictatorship and bringing democracy to Iraq is unforgettable. Talabani together with President Masoud Barzani and other democratic leaders insisted on rebuilding Iraq on a civil and democratic foundation. Equality between Kurds and Arabs and the protection of the rights of Turkmen, Christians, and followers of all faiths and religions in Iraq was made the basis for Iraq’s new constitution.
As a president, Mr. Talabani was making continuous efforts and facing a constant struggle in Baghdad to implement and defend the constitution. Thanks to his stature and personal charisma and skills known to all Iraqi parties, he often prevented the violation of the constitution. Hence, we began to see the violation of the constitution and a clear disregard for the consensus since he fell ill. The outcome of it was of course the collapse of the political process and further devastation for the country. His style of work had made Mr. Talabani a world leader.
My relations with Mr. Talabani were solid and were of understanding and respect. Most issues that ever rose became a basis for negotiations and the outcome was always a solution. I always found him open to solutions.
The loss of a leader like Mr. Talabani is a major loss for Kurdistan, Iraq, and the whole region. Once again I send my condolences to those loved him and I hope all sides follow his path for consensus and administration in Iraq.
May he rest in peace.
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)